Interconnectivity  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Interconnectivity is a concept that is used in numerous fields such as cybernetics, biology, ecology, network theory, and non-linear dynamics. The concept can be summarized as that all parts of a system interact with and rely on one another simply by the fact that they occupy the same system, and that a system is difficult or sometimes impossible to analyze through its individual parts considered alone. The concept is closely linked to the observer effect and the butterfly effect. It is often linked to the concepts of interconnectedness which is used to refer to the spiritual, and interdependence which refers to the moral, rather than physical or scientific.

Examples

  • A gear alone is useless, and tells little about the machine it came from. A cabinet full of gears, however, can run a clock, and the way these parts are assembled is the clock. The clock is the interconnection of its gears. Remove or damage one gear, and the entire clock is damaged.
  • It also refers to the topology of a network and describes in detail its characteristics as well as links in the network.
  • Another example is an ecosystem. All inhabitants of an ecosystem play a part in maintaining that ecosystem, and a fragile equilibrium is formed. Any event that affects one part of the ecosystem affects the entire ecosystem. An event that removes a seemingly unimportant species can alter an ecosystem. If a fire burns all of the grass from a field, the predators will starve or leave, because the herbivores will starve or leave in the absence of grass.
  • The occasional inter-state blackouts in the Northeastern United States over the past few decades are an example of interconnectivity gone wrong. A single line or transformer failure caused the entire system to fail in almost every case. Because the surrounding lines were unable to assume the additional load, the entire system failed.

Differentiation from the butterfly effect

The key difference between interconnectivity and the butterfly effect is that while the butterfly effect deals with chain reactions and events, interconnectivity deals with systems in dynamic equilibrium, such as ecosystems, economies, societies, etc. While the two are often substituted incorrectly for one another, they are two similar but separate concepts.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Interconnectivity" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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